RIPPER 5RETURN TO 1981
RETURN TO PRESS

This originally appeared in Ripper 5. Thanks to Tim Tonooka for permission to reprint it.

We just completed our 2nd national tour. NY was real good with a crowd of mostly suburban people from the surrounding area and a large contingent from Wash. DC, which is probably the East Coast's most active, physically and creatively, scene. UXA opened and played a marginal set hampered by the recent loss and replacement of their bass player. They were disappointing since their album is one of my all time favorites. Bad Brains rip--they played in a cloud of flailing dreads, bodies, and ganja smoke. Even when they play their reggae, the whole thing works because of the sincerity. HR is a great singer, same for the drummer. Our set was one of the best we'd played to date--I could be wrong, I hadn't been asleep for 3 days except for a couple of hours. Afterwards, we played in this tiny club called A7 until the sun came up playing switch arounds and fuck off songs. Henry and Greg sang and Dez played guitar. We stayed in NY for a week and played in a few of the surrounding areas. The highlight being July 4th in Pittsburgh where we did the best version on Damaged I since we played it for a half hour at Flippers. Greg got addicted to watermelon in NY and our money goes to support his habit--it may be our downfall.

The midwest happens--Detroit, Lansing, Minneapolis, Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee. The best of the lot for us were Madison and Minneapolis. Madison has a real good crowd mostly real hectic skaters. In Chicago, a pitched battle went on between the security and the audience. The security of the TUTS being of the "I'm gonna get me a punk tonight" type. They didn't get away with it--the only injury being to one particularly nasty guy dressed in everlast boxing shorts. He got it in the head with the fat end of a bass guitar when he tried to beat up this 16 or 17 year old who made the mistake of falling against the stage. There are a lot of good bands in this area. The Necros out of Lansing who at one point were very LA derivative but now are really good, have developed a style of their own and really pump out the energy. In Chicago, there are three really good bands that play out. The Effigies, my favorite. Strike Under, and the Naked Raygun. The Effigies are a real good heavy metal punk band--super sincere attitude and good songs, great guitar. Strike Under is a more varied band probably really good on records but have trouble sticking it all together live. Naked Raygun is a real hot art band--crazy, lots of noise and wildness. Lots can and does happen with them. Actually their hardcore with an arty edge but not dry.

There are at least two good bands in Minneapolis. The Replacements base their sound in traditional rock and roll and take it from there. Husker Du bounce off the walls and floors and leave everything in sight shaken. I saw them at the Oz in Chicago and it was really incredible. They're probably the highest energy band there is. We played in Salt Lake City home of the Mormon Tabernacle--our last gig with Dez singing. Henry who used to sing for SOA out of DC now sings for BLACK FLAG. Dez plays guitar and sings backing vocals. We're recording an album now. We played a few gigs at the Cuckoo's Nest in Costa Mesa. Saccharine Trust and Overkill played one gig. Both were hot with original styles, which I'm finding to be more and more important in making gigs good. It seems like a lot of people want to be musicians etc etc but have got no real reason to do it and just mouth style and rhetoric and are real boring. The enemy's the past. Anyway the gigs went real good. After the last Cuckoo's Nest gig, we flew out to Boston to play the Channel. It went OK, but we had a hard time playing on borrowed equipment--not much fun.

One day after we left for the east coast tour, the police marched into SST in Torrance and tore the place apart looking for drugs and weapons. They arrested one person for operating a business without a license. Our mailing address (P.O. Box 1) is still the same. We're getting things moving finally again after a couple months of living here and there. It's funny, we knew were under surveilance but figured that the more they knew the sooner they would leave us alone. No such luck. The end of SST location number 5.

Saccharine Trust, the Minutemen, Stains, Descendents, and Overkill are all hot and my favorite bands right now. Maybe I've got problems.

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RETURN TO PRESS
RIPPER 5RETURN TO 1981